Caryn Hartglass, Detoxing
Caryn will discuss the ins and outs of detoxing, the physical, the emotional and the spiritual.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass and thanks for joining me today on It’s All About Food. I want to talk about detoxing today in the first part of the show, and in the second part of the program I’m going to welcome my guest Zsu Dever to speak about her new book Aquafaba, and this is really really exciting and I can’t wait to get to that part. It’s a great cookbook and aquafaba, which I’ve been talking a little bit about on the program from time to time, is that magic bean water that we can whip into a frenzy and make meringue and all kinds of wonderful food dishes that you used to only be able to be made with egg whites. But we’ll talk more about aquafaba in the second part of the program.
Now I want to talk about detoxing and decluttering, because I think it’s similar, or the same kind of concept, detoxing and decluttering. And when we think about detoxing most people think about clearing out the body of the toxins that we take in either from the foods we eat or from our environment. I want to talk about detoxing not only from a body perspective but from a living space perspective and from the mind, the consciousness. And I think, just like so many things, these things are connected and we’ll find a lot of parallels, at least I am, between the three spaces. I also like to look at the world and life and the universe from a macro perspective and a micro perspective, and the fascinating thing to me, the thrilling thing, the thing that gives me hope in some ways is that the structure, the patterns, at a microscopic level are the same as at a macroscopic level. So we can learn from one or the other by looking at one or the other.
All right let’s attack the living space detox. Now first I always love to talk about breathing, right? Breathing, the air is absolutely fabulous right now. We just moved from that hot, sweaty humid summer here in New York and we’re starting to feel the cool air of autumn coming through, and it’s just delicious, it feels great, it’s fresh. And it’s welcoming us to my favorite season, autumn. Autumn in New York; we’re just nine days away from autumn in New York. And I smell it everywhere. Its presence is a present, the gift of change, which is a gift. And I think this is my favorite time to breathe. Like my partner Gary says, he breathes for a living. We all breathe for a living, but breathing right now is absolutely fabulous here in New York; breathing in the cool, fresh, soon to be autumn air. Now people talk about when spring comes on doing spring cleaning, and I’m actually doing an end of summer, entry into autumn, cleaning. I make up my own rules here, in my apartment, I make my own rules for my life and I think we all should make up our own rules, as long as we don’t hurt anybody else in the process. So I was just getting mentally ready for a few months now to purge. Purge in my living space, and as I’m going to get to it also connects to our emotional and physical internal spaces.
So the time came, I designated September for purging and both Gary and I are doing that here in the apartment, there’s so much to clean up here. Books, for example, for this program, It’s All About Food, I get so many books. And I love books, and I read them before I talk to my guests on this program, and I save them because they’re important and I love them. But things get so cluttered and so we took down all the books, we cleaned them off, piled them up, and then the book cases were kind of broken and needed fixing, those got mended, we rearranged some furniture, put everything back, some books got discarded, and it’s like a renewal! And you may remember I’ve talk about this many times, but about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, I decided to write a book about it, and the “final” draft, I put quotes around “final,” but final draft is done, and that allowed me to be able to get rid of all this paper that I’d been saving. Medical reports, lab reports, claims that I wrote and filed, just tons of filing and paperwork, and I emptied out two drawers. I’ve got another two to go but they’re not as serious, and the most time consuming part of this is shredding. Shredding is really really time consuming, but you know what? It’s cathartic. It’s allowing me to acknowledge all these things that occurred; acknowledge them, accept them, and shred them. I’m done with that. So it’s a great metaphor going through all of this, and it affects me internally as I’m clearing my living space, my external space. It’s a physical detoxing of the living space, and I’m feeling better, lighter, and I feel like I can do more and anything is possible.
Now maybe you’ve heard of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It’s a book that was written by a Japanese woman, Marie Kondo, and then was translated into English and it’s been a huge best-seller, very successful. And I haven’t read it, but a lot of people are talking about it, I’ve read reviews about it, and I have friends who talk about it. And there’s lots of free videos that the author, Marie Kondo, has on how to fold your clothes neatly so they store easily and look lovely, and I think decluttering is so important for our external living space just as it is for our internal living space, our body and our mind, which I will talk about in a few minutes. And I understand that this best-selling book has rules to follow, and maybe these rules will work for you, but I suggest, rather than following someone else’s rules, that you take small steps and flow, go with the flow. I’m discovering that decluttering or detoxing my apartment space is a bit like painting a landscape. If any of you have ever learned about landscape painting, and it’s similar to building so many things, we work in broad strokes, we work all over the canvas in broad strokes, blurry strokes, mapping things out, we’re turning to different spaces and filling in the detail later, and decluttering our living space is how I like to do it, like I’m painting a landscape. If I clear a little bit of one area, that kind of like opens a bag of worms that affects other areas in my living space. If I’ve got a pile and there’s paperwork in the pile, I need to take that paper and bring it to a filing cabinet and file it, but if my file cabinet is stuffed and cluttered then it’s hard to put it in. So moving around the space and working at each thing a little bit at a time, I find works for me. And I have quite a bit more to go and I’m looking forward to it, but right now I’m feeling really good and I’m motivated to continue clearing out this living space. It’s really feeling so good.
Now let’s talk about the body detoxing because it’s not necessarily very different. So we’ve got all this clutter in our body, it’s clutter from toxins for example that we either breathe in or consume with our food or things leaching into the environment from all kinds of things, wall paint, just everything in our environment. And the body has a great amount of capacity to remove the things that aren’t healthy for it, but sometimes things get stuck, sometimes things that stuck in a pile and then other things get piled on top of it, and then you’ll have arthritis or your arteries will be clogged or your brain will have clutter and clogging and result to Alzheimer’s. Things like that, there’s a parallel going on. So detoxing can take a place in a methodical but slow process, doesn’t have to be all at once because sometimes dramatic detoxing can do more harm than good. I’m a big fan of green foods, you know that, and green juice, and green foods are so amazing at detoxing. So if you’re not familiar at eating dark, leafy green foods, if you’re new to them, not only do you want to go slowly with including them in your diet, but you want to get used to their taste and it takes time, and then you’ll learn to enjoy them, eat more of them, and they will do their job of cleansing and detoxing and helping declutter the piles of junk that you’ve collected in your body.
Now something that I’ve learned that was really interesting when I read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book The End of Diabetes, was he talked about how digestive works and how he doesn’t really recommend snacking, he recommends having 2 or 3 meals during the day, and then a space between because during that space you body digests the food, and then you go into a period where the body works at detoxing, removing what isn’t necessary. And when you snack, you cut that detoxing period short and then go back to the beginning of the cycle, so you may not give the body adequate time to do what it’s supposed to do, which is detox.
Another way to detox, and this may not be obvious, is exercise because moving the body helps move things out. I learned this in a somewhat interesting way, when I went through three major surgeries for my cancer, I know I’ve talked about this before but it just boggles my mind how they took everything out and put everything back in and sewed me up, but my intestines have never been the same. I just know they’re not folded in the same way they were when I joined this planet in this form, and what I find is I don’t have any problems with constipation, I eat plenty of fiber and I have a wonderful diet and things move in and out quickly, but I find that moving, twisting, and turning helps the process along more than it used to because I think I’ve got some extra folds and things that don’t work as well as they used to, so moving is so important in helping moving things out.
Now as I mentioned we just started in September this living space detox, decluttering, and the big purge began this past weekend, actually it started last Friday. And if you’re around in New York you may know that we had another hot-spell, heat-spell, it was really really hot, it wasn’t the best time to plan doing what we did and we only have a small air conditioner in the bedroom that we use when we’re sleeping. So there wasn’t any air condition on, and as we’re working and moving and lifting and pushing and throwing and stuffing and all this stuff, we were also sweating, and sweating is a great way to cleanse. And I enjoyed it to a certain degree because it feels, if you can tolerate the heat, and that’s a challenge I know sometimes, I can’t, and let’s not even go into the big “news” item this week about fainting and not tolerating the heat, you know what I’m talking about. So it’s important to hydrate, drink a lot of water because while water is coming out you want to put water in and that is also a lovely cleansing process.
And another way is stretching, stretching. I love yoga and I always discover new things when I do my yoga work. I do it alone and I don’t go to a class. I’ve learned some routines and poses and I really enjoy doing my own practice at my own pace. And moving into a stretch, not only are you detoxing some physical things, allowing them to be released but sometimes, maybe you’ve experienced this, when I’m releasing a particularly tight area sometimes a memory will come through, something not pleasant, and I acknowledge it and I push it out, let it out. I stretch it; I’m releasing it, letting it go. It is tremendously powerful and healing and that’s why exercise, can’t say enough about it, but it does more than you know and it helps detox. It helps work things out that are stuck, and it helps move the intestines, very good.
Last but not least, actually I think this is actually the most important, is the mind, the mind detox. How much stuff, how much clutter is in your mind? That’s like I think one of the greatest human challenges, we get socialized and it’s like we’re collecting a pile of old cassette tapes, CDs, video tapes, and maybe now some old hard drives, they’re all collected in our mind. All of these memories, old voices, new voices, judgmental ideas that are just continually, this is all clutter that you can clear out, and when you do it is so invigorating, it is so rich and wonderful.
Now meditation is great for this. I find that imagery is very cleansing for my mind. Where I go to a place in my imagination, a place that I feel good; I have two places, one is a real place that I’ve been to that I love , and another place is an imaginary place that I’ve actually constructed over time. And I visit these places in my meditations and it’s just a really wonderful place to go and breathe and visualize light all around me and then visualize the light inside me, and the light, this wonderful white, bright light, I send it through all the parts of my body and instruct it to go to any particular place that’s stiff or sore or tight and clear that away. And you just visualize it happening, you breathe in the light, breathe in the good and you breathe out the clutter, you breathe out the junk, it’s detoxing, it’s decluttering, and it is powerful. And it’s free! And it’s really so easy to do.
Another thing I like to do is I visualize a trashcan, and if I have a negative thought that I don’t particularly care for I will literally grab that thought and put it in the trashcan. And the kind of trashcan that I visualize is the kind with the little foot pedal on the bottom so that with your foot you can open the top, and I put it inside and I take my foot off the pedal and the top slams shut. And then occasionally if I feel that trashcan has gotten full I take it out, and I dump it into an even bigger container that’s way far away from me and my body and my mind. And when you repeat things like that, the negativity, the clutter, it really goes, it works. So I think this is all really important and like I said, it’s all connected. Detoxing, decluttering the body, detoxing, decluttering the mind, detoxing, decluttering the living space, it’s all really quite similar and when you work at it you feel better, you feel lighter, and you feel like you can do so much more because the clutter weighs you down. The clutter in your body physically makes it hard to move. And then of course the clutter in your mind makes it hard to think clearly and objectively and enthusiastically.
Now I learned when I was studying engineering in college, and I took thermodynamics, I learned about the law of entropy. Entropy is called randomness and it naturally happens where entropy is always increasing. This is a law of thermodynamics, entropy, randomness is always increasing. So it’s natural that things get cluttered, it’s natural that things pile up and get messy, it’s natural because entropy, randomness, is a law of thermodynamics. Now to get control of that to some degree requires energy. You have to put energy in to bring order to your space, and that’s your living space, that’s your internal space, your body, your physical body, and your mind. It takes work, it takes energy, and I say it’s worth it. So take your time, go with the flow, do your best and don’t forget… breathe. Breathe in the good; breathe out the clutter, that’s the first step. Ah that breath is so so good, so so good, thank you!
Right, okay, well I just want to remind you, I’d love to hear from you, your comments, your questions, your thoughts, and you can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another few things I wanted to mention, I didn’t even realize that today was the day, but it is the day, today is the release date of the book 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope. Twenty-five women, and I am one of those twenty five women, and if you go to my website ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com you can buy the book and I will inscribe it for you, per your instructions. And I’m offering that for a little while, so go to ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com and you can get your copy of 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope. And I’ve read it, and I enjoyed it, and I think for anyone who’s going through cancer or who’s had cancer or knows someone who has cancer, and that’s like all of us, I think this is a very helpful book. And you need to know that the proceeds of this book are going to support cancer research, non-profits for cancer research.
I also wanted to mention, what else did I want to mention? Just reminders, you can still sign up for the 2Forks event with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his crew, his family, and get some significant discounts, and that’s at my website too, ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com, find out more about that at my website. And one more thing, you may remember a few weeks ago I spoke with Evita Ochel, and it’s always a wonderful pleasure to talk to her, and she had mentioned that she has a course, and she just released it, it’s called The MAP: Yoga Path to Release Stress and Anxiety. We talked about it quite a bit on the program and it’s now available, and she offered a special discount to all of you, my listeners, and if you go to ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com and scroll down the right column you’ll see the box that says Special Discounts and Offers, Sign-Up for Evita Ochel’s course. I haven’t taken it yet, I plan on it, and I know it’s going to be great. Learning how to use mindfulness, acceptance, and presence to enhance joy, well-being, and inner peace, and you know even if we are familiar with these concepts I find that reading someone else’s perspective on the subject, either through a book, a magazine article, or one of these courses, an online program, all helps reinforce it and give you a different perspective that makes it easier to understand and easier to digest and incorporate in your life. And sometimes we just need reminders. So there you have it.
Okay, I think I’m ready to go. Oh I just want to mention one more thing about decluttering and detoxing. It’s a form of recycling. And sometimes it’s hard to let things go, things that you’ve had in your life, and this book that I’ve mentioned before that I have not read, what I understand is the author recommends that you evaluate each thing and acknowledge how it was a part of your life for a while and now you’re going to let it go, indeed you decide to let it go, and have it go on its journey. And that’s the beautiful thing about life and the universe; everything gets reused in one way or another. Now we could do it more efficiently, I know we have a lot of landfills and dumps and it’s going to take a really long time for that stuff to be broken up and reused, but for example when you’re cleaning out your space there’s a lot of stuff that maybe other people will like to have. And so it’s a good thing to share, recycle, etc. Furniture! Very good.
All right, what I want to do now is take a little break, because it’s about that time, and then we’ll get back to the second part of the show which I told you before I am really really really really really looking forward to. So, I’m Caryn Hartglass, you’re listening to It’s All About Food, check back with me, well stay with me and we’ll be right back in a minute or two.
Transcribed by Lydia Dearie 12/17/2016